Houseplants can add beauty to the interior of a home. Exotic houseplants often add beauty as well as an element of interest. These plants generally look different or grow differently than the more common houseplants. “Hen and chicks” is one of these exotic houseplants.
“Hen and chicks” are plants that propagate totally by themselves. The “hen” is the mature plant while the “chicks” are the offspring it produces. The “chicks” remain connected to the “hen” and thrive off the “hen’s” nutrition until it is physically removed. This technique of propagation classifies it as an exotic houseplant.
“Hen and chicks” is a generic name for many different succulent plants that have the same propagation technique. These plants range in color from lime green to burgundy or purple. These plants also range in size from one centimeter to 20 centimeters across. They also have fleshy leaves, stems or roots that have the ability to store water. With this many “hen and chicks” to choose from, there is surely one that will fit into your home, making it an exotic houseplant worth looking into buying.
Care of “hen and chicks” is generally easy. This exotic houseplant requires well-drained soil and bright sunlight, although it will tolerate some shade. Over watering, is the worst damage that can be done to this plant. Therefore, it is important to allow the soil to dry out between waterings and then be sure to water sparingly.
“Hen and chicks” tolerate heat and drought very easily, thus they become an excellent patio plant, but remember, growing them in containers makes it easier to bring indoors before it gets too cold for them to survive outside. Choose an area in the house with lots of sunlight and place this plant there. Now you can continue enjoying your plant.
Propagation of these exotic houseplants, “hen and chicks” is very simple to accomplish. Simply remove the “chicks” once they have established themselves in the pot with the “hen”. The best time for this dividing is during the growing season. Propagation is important if you want to keep these beautiful plants in your indoor or outdoor garden. The reason is that these plants do not last for more than 3 or 4 years.
These exotic houseplants seem to go out with a bang. When the “hen” is mature, usually in 3 or 4 years, it will produce a lone stalk. This stalk usually ranges in length from five to fifteen centimeters and grows from the center of the mature plant. Located at the top of this stalk is a cluster of star-shaped flower buds. The cluster of star-shaped flower buds are one to two centimeters in diameter and will range in color from yellow to dark pink. These clusters generally last for a couple of weeks. Then this blooming show is over, the plant will die. Hopefully by this time there have been many “chicks” cultivated and are well on their way to being new “hen and chick” plants.
For more information on these type of exotic houseplants visit, www.denverplants.com/perennials/html/sempe_tec.htm.